Grayson hails Preston’s FA Cup win

Simon Grayson
Simon Grayson
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Preston North End boss Simon Grayson was full of praise for his side’s FA Cup replay win over Sheffield United which set them up a Deepdale date with Manchester United on February 16.

The Lilywhites beat the Blades 3-1 at Bramall Lane, scoring their three goals in a 10-minute spell in the second half after the Blades had gone ahead against the run of play before the interval.

Paul Gallagher equalised with a fine free-kick from the edge of the box and Paul Huntington then headed them into the lead.

It was the excellent Gallagher who completed the scoring from the penalty spot after Chris Humphrey had been fouled by Jay McEveley.

Grayson said: “The win was everything that we deserved, from start to finish we did everything well.

“I thought we came out of the traps really well, passed the ball with a purpose, closed down and limited Sheffield United to very few opportunities.

“Their keeper made some outstanding saves early on and then they scored against the run of play which really rocked us.

“Potentially we could have conceded again after that goal but we didn’t and hit back.

“At half-time I told the players to believe in their ability and if we carried on doing the same things we would get a result.

“It took a massive amount of character to come back in the way we did in the second half.

“We had been struggling for the last month and had some bad results, it might have been easy to think at half-time that it was going to be one of those nights.

“It was a fantastic result for all concerned.”

Joe Garner made his comeback as a late substitute, 10 weeks after having surgery to repair a damaged tendon at the top of his shin bone.

The striker replaced Kevin Davies in the 87th minute, Grayson throwing him back into action following a 45-minute run out in a behind closed doors practice game at Deepdale on Monday afternoon.

North End will host United at Deepdale on Monday, February 16, with the game shown live on BBC1.

Fittingly, such a big game for Preston comes two days after the first anniversary of Sir Tom Finney’s passing.